Who makes your coffee?

Love of coffee runs in my family.

When I was in first grade my grandpa retired. During his long and successful carrier as an Army officer he probably had someone make him coffee anytime he wished for one. That task then became mine. He taught me how to ‘bake’ him a nice cup of turkish coffee every day after lunch. I would boil the water with a spoon of sugar in a little džezva, add a scoop of coffee grind, wait for it to rise, remove from the flame and return to rise again. It was as black as the night and smelled divine. Grandpa always said that if I tasted it I would grow a long tail. So without ever sampling the beverage I made and perfected one daily for most of my childhood. Sometimes he gave me a coin or two and send me to get myself ice cream from the store and sit with him while he drank it. But most of the time he sat in solitude, quietly reading the newspaper, enjoying his coffee.

Grandpa always told me coffee is one of few things in the world that is always better when someone else makes it for you. It is probably the reasons most Europeans to this day drink it in company, sitting in coffee shops, break rooms or friends houses while gossiping. Just as Brits put the kettle on for tea as soon as visitors enter their home, Slovenians boil water for coffee. It is a routine that deserves time and love. I dare say the first few promotions I got at work were largely due to making great cups of coffee for my bosses.

I love coffee. The taste, the smell, the warmth as it runs through me. I used to make myself a double espresso with milk at home but I never finished it warm. On most mornings I would drink it while making breakfast, unloading the dishwasher and answering emails. Nine out of ten times I would find a cup half empty somewhere around the house in the afternoon. And since it is suppose to be made for you, I started going to our local Starbucks. The coffee is great, don’t get me wrong. But the place itself has no soul. People don’t interact, the wireless is free so customers treat is as an office. Someone is always being called by the most absurd beverage name. In fact the main reason I order a normal latte is that if I have a heart attack right there and then I do not want them to call 911 and say: ‘Quick, send an ambulance, the Venti, Non-Fat, No Foam, No water, 6 pump, extra hot, chai tea latte just collapsed by the sugar station!’.

Anyhow I realized that sitting there is wasting precious time I do not have, so these days I go to drive thru. I order my latte which as you will recall they mostly get wrong. I hand them my own cup. They charge me nearly 4 bucks for 19 seconds of beverage making and I drink it while driving. Let’s recap: I provide the cup, the seat and $4 in exchange for a warm beverage. And later in the day I get the pleasure of washing my own cup too.

But what really made me want to write this post is that today I told my son I felt like a nice cuppa and he said : let’s drive through Starbucks after the gym. And for that my dearest grandpa I am so very, very sorry.

This entry was posted in The good life and tagged , , , .

64 Comments

  1. Alison June 12, 2013 at 23:22 #

    Twitter: AlisonSWLee
    It’s a sign of the times, not your fault at all.
    Maybe you can teach Little J to make you coffee. :)
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  2. [email protected] Mom June 13, 2013 at 04:51 #

    Twitter: copilotmom
    Coffee and tea are very social things, but I rarely go to sit and have a coffee anymore. If I sit with it, I am in my car or at home. How things, change!
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  3. Ally June 13, 2013 at 07:16 #

    Twitter: normalmomally
    I have found many a cup half full of cold coffee. I’ve done a lot of Starbucks because I always know what I’ll get. But I’ve been trying to make myself hit the smaller coffee shops and stands for a little more personality – sometimes good, sometimes not so good :)

    I love that you perfected that turkish coffee without ever tasting it!
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  4. Tamar June 13, 2013 at 10:32 #

    I LOVE coffee and I love this post. What precious, warm, delicious memories. I often get my coffee at Starbucks too and feel that the emotional sweetness of the ritual of drinking coffee is lost, but I agree getting it as take-away makes it slightly better. Wherever you get it, drink it, enjoy the taste and send a mental love note to your grandpa. :-)
    Tamar recently posted..Mommy Moment: Reflection

  5. Mama and the City via Facebook June 13, 2013 at 10:52 #

    I loved it. I couldn’t stop thinking about your grandpa, though.

  6. Marie Gettel-Gilmartin via Facebook June 13, 2013 at 11:09 #

    This post was interesting!! Loved your story about your grandpa!

  7. Susi June 13, 2013 at 15:39 #

    Twitter: bocafrau
    I remember many many coffee dates at grandma’s house in Germany. We went a few times a week and my mom and her would sit and talk over coffee while we kids quietly played. My older girl loves to make my coffee for me – with the Keurig. I know, it’s not the same but she makes it perfectly with just enough sugar and milk!

  8. Anne LeBlanc June 13, 2013 at 20:11 #

    Twitter: littleredhens
    That is such a treasure that you made that special Turkish coffee for your grandpa. Do you ever make it for yourself, now? My husband has a coffee shop of his own and makes my coffee or latte every morning. I can make a decent one, but I too, prefer it when he makes it for me!
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  9. Madeleine June 13, 2013 at 23:54 #

    Twitter: amazonmad
    “Grandpa always told me coffee is one of few things in the world that is always better when someone else makes it for you.” I love this! It’s so very true, but something I’d not really thought about before.
    I have feeling that even if we did own an espresso machine – something we’ve been saying we’ll buy ever since moving to LA and being disappointed by LA coffee in general – I’d be too lazy and enjoy my coffee more if it was made by someone else in the home 😉
    Anyhow, based on recent visits to Seattle, I am very much looking forward to calling myself a local soon and experiencing good coffee, easily, again.
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  10. Lisa @ Meaning of Me June 14, 2013 at 19:45 #

    What a great story about your Grandpa and a shared love of coffee. :)
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  11. karen June 16, 2013 at 16:22 #

    Twitter: mrs_karenc
    what a beautiful memory you have with your Grandpa…it;s the little things, the special times we have with family that make life important.

    I LOVE coffee, but can never get into Starbucks…even there now light coffee is still too strong for me. I do love Dunkin Donuts…But at least at Dunkin people sit and talk to each other. At starbucks (the few times I have gone with hubby) families are all there on their own devices?!?!?!?!
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